Apr 24, 2012

Unlocking the Information Goldmine

Arno FroeseBy Arno Froese
Midnight Call Ministries

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In his 1950 paper entitled Computing Machinery and Intelligence, computer scientist Alan Turing opens with the words, “I propose to consider the question, ‘Can machines think?’”

Sixty years on, the idea of intelligent computers seems a little less ridiculous.

Technology leaps forward year by year with ever greater processing powers, bigger clouds, faster internet connections, sleeker interfaces and cleverer self-learning algorithms.

It poses the question: are computers getting closer to human intelligence by being able to make value judgments, understand concepts and process a world that is not just black and white in real time?

The answer is yes.

Not only is this a significant step forward, but it also has the potential to fundamentally change the world we know.


Today, thanks to technology’s mass appeal and accessibility, on a daily basis we collectively produce 2.5 quintillion bytes of data, and the growth rate is so high that 90% of all information ever created was produced in the last two years alone. The value of this information to organizations who want to keep ahead of the curve is huge.

Organizations that truly want to understand their customers and keep up with changing demands need to change their organization culturally in order to do this successfully.

The challenge is that having tens or hundreds of thousands of customers, each with potentially thousands of data points connected with them, results in a very large amount of data being collected.

Part of this might be structured data that can be easily categorized, for example, gender, age, and geography, but the majority will be unstructured, human information.

The key is to understand that data—leaving it exactly where it is—in order to create an infinitely scalable platform, and a powerful basis for analysis and action throughout the entire enterprise.

By applying meaning, we can cut through the Gordian knot of trying to find that “perfect” database, and get to the heart of the issue—being able to process 100% of the information, structured and unstructured, to unlock real business value.

By applying the ability to understand meaning, businesses can get a view of all of their data, not only the 10% of “neat,” structured data, but the whole 100%.

What we can do now has never been possible before: the next IT revolution is happening in the “I”—the information—not the “T.”

—Dr. Mike Lynch, founder and chief executive of Autonomy
www.bbc.co.uk, 12 April 2012

“Can machines think...Are computers getting closer to human intelligence?” are some of the questions addressed. Obviously, that answer is based on over-confidence in duplicating human intelligence. According to many expert opinions, this is all but impossible.

However, when it comes to control, the computer is superior to man’s ability to make decisions, do research, and determine identification. Those who travel internationally have found that the ultimate authority no longer is the word of man or the officer in charge, neither the passport of the traveler, but the computer which has just scanned the identification document. Only when the computer says “yes” will the person be able to board the plane or enter a country. From that aspect, we clearly see that man has become subject to his own creation; in this case, computer identification technology.

Another important item is the fact that “90 percent of all information ever created was produced in the last two years alone.” Therefore, information we have received from God through the Holy Scripture represents an almost unnoticeable amount of information. Subsequently, mankind will increasingly devalue, disregard, and even mistrust information given by the Creator of all things. The ocean of available information will simply drown out the tiny nutshell of Scripture information. But we read, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).

We are instructed in the next chapter, “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:2). What is the reason? “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Timothy 4:3-4).

That indeed is another important reason to occupy oneself with Holy Scripture, to avoid drowning in the ocean of global information.

Related Links
EU plans for big brother data analysis must be nipped in the bud • EUobserver.com
Is there a drone in your neighbourhood? Rise of spy planes exposed after FAA is forced to reveal 63 launch sites across U.S. • Daily Mail
Big Brother's Next Target: Your Car • American Thinker
Legislators to vote on controversial CISPA bill despite online protests • FOX News
Computers Can Grade Essays As Well As People Can • Discover Magazine